ŽÓRSDRĮPA 15:1-4

Codex RegiusCodex TrajectinusCodex WormianusEmended & Modernized
15 : 1-4 VariantsVariants 
Fatiža nam frožifrøšifrœšiFįtķša nam fręši,
fiaršeplis kon iaržar  fjaršeplis, konr Jaršar,
mœrar legs ne mvgžomorarmerarmęrar legs, né mżgšu
meN a/lteiti keNa;  menn ölteiti, kenna;

We have two interlocking sentences here:

Konr Jaršar nam kenna fįtķša fręši, né mżgšu ölteiti menn legs męrar fjaršeplis, i.e. "Earth's son [Žórr] taught an unusual lesson [or: seldom spoke], but the men of the lair of the land of the fjord-apple [giants] did not cease their ale-feast".

The statement is rather puzzling. In the last stanza, Thor killed the two giantesses through a feat of strength. Is this the "uncommon lesson" which he teaches to the giants? Or is the poet anticipating Thor's feat in the next stanza? It is hard to say. It has been suggested that the phrase nam kenna fįtķša fręši means "displayed an unusual skill", but this doesn't clarify the statement. The giants' merriment is also rather puzzling. Né mżgšu ölteiti apparently means "they did not cease their ale-feasting", or possibly "they did not repress their mirth". Is this a rare insight into the behaviour of giants? Thor has just killed their king's daughters, and they seem to admire him for the feat. They couldn't care less, and simply go on with their feasting. "Jolly good sport, eh?"

It has occurred to me that this half-stanza might be interpreted differently. Fįtķša may be read as an adverb: "seldom, rarely", while kenna fręši might be taken to mean "teach learning, make a learned speech", and be simply a circumlocution for "talk, speak". It may be assumed that Thor was a god of few words, but much action. If we read the half-stanza in this way, we get: "Thor seldom spoke, but the giants made merry". The scene, thus pictured, brings to mind a vivid picture of the giants noisily drinking and making merry, while Thor sits apart, frowning and silent.

konr Jaršar ] "the son of Earth", is Thor. In his edition of Haustlöng (p. 61), Richard North discusses the Thor-kenning jaršar sunr "Earth's son", and states that "it is odd that no such kenning appears in ... Žórsdrįpa". I beg to differ. Cp. also the perhaps dubious arfi eišs in half-stanza 10:1-4.

menn legs męrar fjaršeplis ] is a kenning for giants. Fjaršepli "fjord-apple" is a stone. Męrr means "flat, marshy land". The stone-land is a kenning for mountain. The leg, i.e. lair, of the mountain is the cave, and the men of the cave are the giants.

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